To accommodate students' broad interests and diverse backgrounds, course requirements are flexible.



Special Note: students must receive a grade of C or better in a course for it to count
towards the fulfillment of their STPEC requirements.


STPEC juniors, seniors and sophomores may register for these courses on SPIRE.

STPEC 391H: STPEC Seminar I – Sreela Sarkar

TueThurs 11:00-12:45
Schedule #24723
This seminar is the first in the yearlong STPEC Seminar Sequence. STPEC Seminar I focuses on major theoretical currents in political theory and the historical circumstances that gave rise to those theories-in particular Liberalism, Marxism and Anarchism. STPEC Seminar II will analyze contemporary social movements in the context of these (and other theoretical apparatuses). As this is an interdisciplinary class, we will be bringing in analytic tools from various disciplines- including economics and political theory-but always paying attention to the historical construction and reception of ideas.

Sreela Sarkar is a Ph.D. student in Communication. This is a four credit honors course. Enrollment is limited to 25 students. STPEC majors only. PREREQUISITES: One Intro to Social Theory course and one Intro to Political Economy Course chosen from the STPEC Recommended Course List.

STPEC 392H: STPEC Seminar IIAntonia Carcelén

TueThur 11:00-12:45
Schedule #24068

STPEC Seminar II is the second half of the STPEC Seminar sequence. STPEC Seminar II focuses on a series of interrelated political, social, and theoretical movements of the twentieth century. This course is designed to encourage students to deploy the critical-analytic methods and approaches that we discussed in STPEC Seminar 1 to some of the century’s pivotal events; we’ll examine the Mexican, Russian, Chinese, and Iranian revolutions in detail. We’ll pay particular attention to the cultural, intellectual, and economic contexts within which ideologies of Euro-American imperialism arose; we will assess the origins and development of “scientific racism” via a comparative study of South Africa, 1900-1948 and French-occupied Southeast Asia, 1918-1954. Other topics include: The struggle for Palestinian self-determination; the heyday of African independence movements, 1945-1974; global capitalism’s “neo-liberal turn,” ca. 1972-1999; race and nation in the modern United States. Evaluation is based on several short reading response papers (3-4pp.) and one major (15-20pp) research paper. Students will also be required to lead at least one in class discussion on the week’s assigned readings.

Antonia Carcelén is a Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature. This is a four credit honors course. Enrollment is limited to 25 students. STPEC majors only. PREREQUISITE: Completion of STPEC 391H (the semesters may not be taken concurrently). This restriction will be enforced.


STPEC 393A: Writing for Critical ConsciousnessEthan Myers

Thursday 2:30-5:00
Schedule #11013

The STPEC Junior Writing Seminar focuses on individual development of voice. We will weave this theme through standard essay assignments, weekly response papers, cover letters and resumes, and a student-driven class project of your choosing. Since you and your classmates with be struggling together to find your voices, we'll focus on peer-editing and tutoring techniques at the beginning of the semester. As we discuss peer-editing, we may consider issues of language and dialect, Black English, Standard Written English and feminism. The second half of the semester will focus on political, environmental, educational, cultural, and philosophical texts. Throughout all assignments I expect to see cultivation of your voice and communication of your own creative ideas. I encourage integration of ideas from your other courses and experiences. Be prepared to think critically and examine texts carefully. We will be sharing our writing with each other – be ready to give and receive constructive feedback.
This course meets only once a week; do not plan to miss any classes.

Ethan Myers has a Master's Degree in Literature and American Studies from UMass Amherst. Enrollment is limited to 20 students. STPEC majors only. Prerequisite: College Writing or equivalent.


All seminars are four credit honors courses. Enrollment for each seminar is limited to 20 students. STPEC majors only.
PREREQUISITE FOR ALL SENIOR SEMINARS: Completion of STPEC 391H with a grade of C or better (may not be taken concurrently with any Senior Seminar). This restriction will be enforced!
STPEC juniors and seniors may register for these courses on SPIRE.

STPEC 491H: Solidarity… Forever? Representations of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War – Reyes Lázaro

Thursday 5:00-7:30
Schedule # 24069

The Spanish revolution and Civil War once were a necessary reference in progressive politics. The Lincoln Brigade, Emma Goldman, George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, Humphrey Bogart in his most famous ‘film noirs’ and many others attest to the significance of the Spanish struggle in left and progressive circles, international politics and popular culture. What was so inspiring about early 20th century utopias of internationalism and solidarity? Did men and women participate similarly in them? How was the Spanish Civil War represented in films, novels, poems, paintings and songs at the time? How is it represented now? Did Franco’s dictatorship and the Cold War manage to bury the memory of Spanish revolutionary thought? What attempts are currently being made in Spain to recreate historical memory? Is turn-of-the 20th century internationalism still an inspiring political alternative in these times of global crisis? We will explore questions such as these through film, music, fiction, historical and political essay-writing, poetry and painting.

Reyes Lázaro is a Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Smith College.

STPEC 492H: Black Radicalism in the U.S. & Beyond, 1960s and 70s – Christopher Tinson

Wednesday 5:15-7:45 pm
Schedule # 11027

Students in this course will engage in the study of the transition from Civil Rights liberalism to Black Power radicalism in the 1960s and 1970s. We will explore the history, ideas, voices and strategies African Americans employed in the struggle to secure rights and demand respect in the United States. While this course is centered on the struggles waged by Black people in the U.S., students will also grapple with the international events that influenced the radical politics of the period. This course will shape students understanding of the Black Power vision of social justice and gauge its impact on the present day from the emergence of Black Studies departments to Hip-Hop culture.

Christopher Tinson is an Associate Professor in African American Studies at Hampshire College.

STPEC 493H: The Co-operative Commonwealth: Is There a Third Way?– Erbin L. Crowell

Tuesday 2:30-5:00
Schedule # 25025

Students in this course will engage in the study of the transition from Civil Rights liberalism to Often described as a “third way” or economic alternative to both capitalism and state socialism, co-operativism has also been associated with both of these philosophies. More recently, the declaration of 2012 as the United Nations International Year of Co-ops has raised the profile of co-operative enterprise as a tool for social and economic development. This course will focus on the degree to which co-operation as both a business model and social movement offers a viable economic alternative and tool for social justice, economic democracy and ecological sustainability. Our goal is to acquaint students with the historical context and ideas that gave rise to the co-operative movement; the evolution of co-operative enterprise; comparative models and practice; the relevance of the co-operative alternative to contemporary economic and social issues such as globalization, climate change and the global financial crisis; and case studies in co-operative enterprise. The course will be highly participatory, including individual work and group collaboration as we seek to answer these questions.

Erbin Crowell is an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut and Executive Director of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association.


STPEC 498Y – Exploring the Intersection of Theory and PracticeKatherine Mallory

(aka “Practicum”) No Class Meetings
Schedule # 36572

This course fulfills the STPEC internship requirement. Students in this course undertake an internship of 120 hours or more in an organization of their choice, and engage in critical reflection on their experience. Fieldwork placements are identified and arranged by each individual student and must be approved by the instructor. Students are encouraged to use this class as an opportunity to synthesize knowledge gained in the classroom and test its applicability to “real life” situations.

The primary written assignment for the course is a 12-15 page (or longer, depending on credits) final paper emphasizing critical analysis of the student's experience in the organization and/or the organization itself. Analytical themes may include (but are not limited to): the interplay of organizational structure and mission; the strengths and weakness of various means of working for social change; the impacts of economic and/or financial conditions and structures on the organization; and dynamics of race, class, and gender both within the organization and in its interactions with the larger community. All students are required to apply an analysis of race, class, and gender.

To enroll, submit a completed STPEC internship contract before the end of add/drop. (Note: you must meet with Katherine and get her approval of your placement before you turn in your contract. She can be reached at .)


STPEC 494PI: Praxis – Katherine Mallory
Monday 4:40-7:10
3 credits, graded
Schedule # 24816

This course teaches students to apply social theory to the real-life experience of their required STPEC internship. As an integrative experience (IE) course students are encouraged to draw on knowledge acquired in prior Gen Ed and core STPEC courses to explore connections between theory and practice as they analyze various aspects of the organizations. Class structure and assignments promote group communication, multi-disciplinary dialogue, and critical self-reflection. Course assignments focus on a self-designed project related to the student's internship placement and include multiple peer-edited drafts of a critical analysis of the internship, a self-reflective essay, an oral presentation, and a final cumulative paper.

To enroll please contact Katherine at or 413 545-0137.


The following courses do not fulfill any STPEC or university requirements

STPEC 291CE: Capitalism and the Environment – Jason Allen
Thursdays 5:00-7:30 2 credit, mandatory pass/fail Schedule # 25584
This two-credit course is designed to explore the ecological crisis through the lens of both social/environmental theory and political economy. We will specifically address the capitalist system and its relationship to the environment, noting the limits of growth and any future possibilities of environmental sustainability. This class will look to investigate: The origins of capitalist development; Understanding the expansive nature of capital; How this global economic system interacts with the environment; Do humans have any ethical obligations to the natural world?; Can we put a monetary price on clean air, forests, the ozone layer, or the extinction of certain species?; The market’s response to the crisis; How cities are responding to the ecological crisis; Critiques of the current system and alternatives
Jason Allen is a STPEC senior. For more information on this course you may contact him at

STPEC 291R: STPEC Brown Bag Activist Lunch Series – Sigrid Schmalzer and Katherine Mallory
Time: to be arranged* 1 credit, mandatory pass/fail Schedule # 25479
For this one-credit course, students will attend four brown-bag lunch meetings with local activists to discuss their work. This is an ideal opportunity to explore the intersection between social theory and political practice, and to begin thinking about internship possibilities. Two other meetings will be scheduled, one before the series begins and the final one after the series concludes. Students will be expected to complete short readings for the introductory and wrap-up meetings and will write a final paper comparing and contrasting the activist approaches adopted by the four speakers or a topic of interest to the student approved by the instructor.

STPEC 291S: Masculinity in the Classroom – Jared Schy and Chris Lowe
Mondays 2:30-5:30 2 credits, mandatory pass/fail Schedule # 25901
Taking direction from feminists in the 1960s-70s, in consciousness-raising fashion, this class will be a space for students of all genders to explore the impact masculinities have on themselves and others in the classroom. Consciousness-raising is the practice of coming together in groups, sharing feelings and experiences, and analyzing them to find commonalities and differences to give direction to future political action.
This colloq will address questions such as: How do men benefit from male-privilege in classroom settings? How are patriarchal social relations created and reproduced and enforced in the classroom? How can a diverse group of male-identifying students, which cuts across, race, class, gender, and sexuality, ability and nationality, work in solidarity with women to address gender hierarchies in the classroom? This course seeks students with a strong commitment to creating classroom spaces where every student feels worthy—where students feel heard, recognized, respected, and seen.
This course will also explore questions of pedagogy and knowledge creation: Which ways of knowing and forms of knowledge are legitimized and why? Is consciousness-raising a valid form of pedagogy? Why might some people argue otherwise? How is pedagogy used to reinforce social hierarchies? How can it be used to break them down? This course is an experiment in making classrooms more democratic, participatory, and potentially more liberatory spaces. As such, there will be both guidance and a strong degree of collaboration as a whole class to determine what we do together in the course. We feel the goals of addressing hierarchical gender relations in the classroom can best be accomplished by creating spaces, both joint and separate, for students of all genders to meet together in groups and talk about their experiences. Portions of this class will be separated by gender affinities and portions of it will be together.
This course will be facilitated by Jared Schy, BDIC and Chris Lowe, STPEC. For more information please contact them at: Jared Schy: or Chris Lowe:

STPEC 291X: Executive Committee – Sigrid Schmalzer
student meetings: Tuesdays 7:00-9:00 pm; 2/05, 2/26, 3/12, 4/16
full meetings: Friday 3:00-6:00 pm; 03/01, 4/26
1 credit, mandatory pass/fail Schedule # 24722
Enrollment required for students serving as representatives to the STPEC Executive Committee. Requirements for credit include: attending an orientation session and all student representative and full Executive Committee meetings, delivering weekly announcements to designated STPEC courses and, in STPEC courses in which they are enrolled, facilitating a 15 min forum prior to both full Executive Committee meetings.

STPEC 291A-Z: Student Taught Colloquiums - 1-3 credits

Students may offer a colloq (for 3 credits - graded) or take a student taught colloq (for 1 credit - pass/fail). Any students wishing to offer a colloq for the Fall of 2012 should speak with Deborah Reiter, Program Coordinator, as soon as possible.

Click here for more information on student taught colloquiums

STPEC 298Y, sections 1-3: Practicum (1-12 credits, mandatory pass/fail) No class meetings
STPEC 398Y, sections 1-3: Practicum (1-12 credits, graded) No class meetings

These two options are for students doing elective internships (i.e., this course does not fulfill the STPEC internship requirement). The primary differences between the courses are grading (STPEC 298Y is pass/fail) and recommended final paper length: students in STPEC 298Y write about 2-3 pages per credit, and students in STPEC 398Y write about 3-4 pages per credit.

Students in these courses receive one credit for every 40 hours of work that they complete in an organization of their choice. They must find a faculty sponsor who is willing to grade their written work and submit a grade. The STPEC Internship Advisor can provide assistance with finding placements and faculty sponsors, but this is ultimately each student's responsibility.

To register, speak with Katherine Mallory (the STPEC Internship Advisor) and complete a STPEC Internship Contract by the end of add/drop. She can be reached at

STPEC 298Y: Section 4: Peer Advising in the STPEC Office

Time to be arranged
1-3 credits, pass/fail
Schedule # 11030

Advise current and prospective majors, participate in staff meetings, and help with other aspects of running the STPEC program. Provides the opportunity to become intimately involved with decision-making and program development. Requirements include helping with peer advising, reception and general office tasks in the STPEC Program Office, a written evaluation paper at the end of the semester, attendance at several skills seminars and weekly attendance at the STPEC staff meeting. Students are also encouraged to engage in special projects of their own design which will be beneficial to the STPEC community. Eighty hours per semester for two credits, pass/fail. STPEC majors only. To register please speak with Katherine Mallory, STPEC Internship Coordinator or Deborah Reiter, STPEC Program Coordinator.


STPEC 497P: Praxis – Katherine Mallory
Mondays 4:40-7:10 - 2 credits, graded Schedule # 11026
This optional two-credit course is limited to students who are working on their STPEC internship requirement (STPEC 498Y). It is designed to provide support, structure and feedback for students writing their final internship paper. This course will NOT fulfill the Integrative Experience requirement.
Students in this course write four short (3-5 page) papers on assigned topics related to their internships. Tentative topics include: mission, history and vision; organizational structure and funding; Marxian labor analysis; institutionalized oppression. Reading assignments are short. At the end of the semester, students can compile and revise their papers for the final paper for STPEC 498Y.